CNN host Anderson Cooper laid into a young Sun News reporter for asking him to take a “selfie” Wednesday night, near the Ottawa shooting scene.
Cooper had flown into Ottawa to report from the National War Memorial where honour guard Cpl. Nathan Cirillo was fatally shot.
While breaking from live coverage, Vandon Gene, a contributor to Sun News Network , asked Cooper if they could take a photo together.
Cooper denied the initial request but Gene continued to press on for a picture. Cooper then chastised the reporter saying, “have a little respect for what happened here today.”
“No, I will not take a photo with you on a day where someone was killed. It seems wildly inappropriate,” Cooper said.
Gene posted a video of the exchange on YouTube shortly after Cooper’s refusal to take a picture:
“Anderson Cooper exploits Ottawa shooting by flying to Ottawa, but has decency to criticize me for asking for a photo?” Wrote Gene in a tweet linked to the video, which has since been deleted.
A second video was later uploaded
Cooper responded back on Twitter saying: “Dude, you were rude and asking for a selfie near where a soldier was killed. It was completely inappropriate. Think about it.”
“I can’t believe any station employs you, and if you want to be a journalist, learn how to behave when covering a story.”
Gene did not back down at this point. He continued to attack Cooper and defend his stance on taking a picture with the veteran journalist in a series of tweets that he eventually deleted after facing harsh criticism from those online.
Executive producer at Sun News, Matt Wolf apologized for Gene’s behaviour and stated “this issue will be addressed.”
Gene then shortly after apologized via Twitter Thursday morning.
Wolf later confirmed that Gene “no longer has any association” with Sun News.
Should Gene have been fired or been given some slack since he’d just experienced the lock down / shooting in Ottawa? Should he forever be persecuted for a youthful indiscretion? Is his career in journalism over? Everyone will know why he was fired – if you were a news director, would this impact your decision to hire him?
– Q New Media Editor / Chris Bundas –